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Dog reluctant to eat his meals(19 Posts)
I have 2 dogs, the rescue dog who we got last summer is approx 4 and has started to not really be too keen on eating his breakfast / dinner. He picks at it a bit and walks away, comes back picks walks away... This goes on for about 15 minutes and then he just leaves it totally. This has been going on for a few weeks, he sometimes will wolf the food down but now it's more often that not that he picks and leaves it as above.
I can't leave the food down as my other dog will eat it as soon as its left. I tried to entice him with a little bit of gravy on it but he wasnt really keen.
He has no problem eating his denti stick or other scraps that fall on the floor when I'm cooking, and his usual bouncy self so I don't think there's anything wrong with him.
Any advice how to get him back to eating to his routine?
How old is he? Are there any other changes in his behaviour or health?
Could be they changed the food he eats, sometimes they do that and cats and dogs refuse to eat their favourite food all of a sudden.
Sorry just spotted his age.
Could it be he’s just settled in now after coming from a rescue situation and doesn’t need to eat whenever he can?
He is 4 years old, absolutely no changes at all, his poops are normal, check his ears and they're fine, not lathargic, still wrestling and playing with our other dog.
He gets a dry food from James Wellbeloved for small dogs (he's a bichon) and has enjoyed this until recently!
Funny I did wonder has he finally just settled into this home. Another thing is he eyeballs our other dog's (dog 2) food and will go over to his bowl when he has finished to see if there's any scraps left! I had thought about then putting dog 1s food into dog 2s bowl to see if he would eat it that way but didn't want to be messing up the pack balance?
Our dog (63kg Great Dane X German Shepherd) went through a period of doing this. Lost tonnes of weight and all vet tests were coming back clear...
I noticed out of the corner of my eye that he jumped right out of the way when my (4kg) cat wandered past while he was having a drink. So I swapped his bowl for a new one and moved it to a different room and he wolfed down the lot. Never had a problem after that.
I think the cat had told him off one time when he'd been eating, so he decided he'd rather starve than disobey the cat's instruction . Could something similar have happened for your dog?
Oh spanneroo I wonder?! I used to just leave their food down and let them both eat at the same time unattended so there is definitely a good chance that something has thrown him? Maybe a new bowl and separating them is worth a shot!
@Sunsage I really hope it's an easy fix like that. Honestly, if I hadn't caught that little interaction, who knows how long he'd have carried on declining to eat in case the cat disapproved! She's clearly terrifying
Imagine a 63kg dog being so upset by a cat 😂
Thanks so much for this suggestion definitely worth a try!
Our dog did this recently, completely went off the food he had been eating for 10 years. At first we thought he had an upset tummy but strangely enough chicken, sausages etc were wolfed down. This went on for a couple of weeks he was losing weight but otherwise fine. In the end we completely changed his food and he started eating again. Then we gradually reintroduced his original food (we had a cupboard full) and he ate it happily.
Still a mystery what was going on but I do think a change of food or feeding routine might solve it. If not a trip to the vet might be needed.
Thank you @mateysmum he will happily eat sausages, rice, scrambled eggs etc DH says just to not give him any extras at all but I feel so bad letting him go hungry?
I will get a little bag of new food and try that, don't want too try too much at once either.
Had thought about wet food but I don't know how good that is for dogs? Aw dear they keep me on my toes!!
My old boy has never liked dry on its own, so we feed a mixture of dry and wet. I know some people have strong opinions on wet food, but if you buy a good brand which is nutritionally complete, I think most dogs enjoy and thrive on it.
Like you I didn't want to spoil Ddog so that he would end up eating only fillet steak but it's heartbreaking when they won't eat.
OK so this was a failure of week to get him to eat, tried adding in rice and scrambled eggs and he ate around the kibble and eat the rice and eggs.
This morning I have sat and watched them both eating to see what I can observe lol ddog 1 (the non eater) sat and watched ddog 2 eat his breakfast and left his own bowl alone. When ddog 2 finished ddog1 went over to ddog2's bowl and started to eat what scraps were left.. So I put ddog1's food into ddog2's bowl and he has ate more out of the other dogs bowl than he has eaten all week!!(still not the full amount but I feel like it's progress)
How strange? Is it okay for them to share a bowl like this? Ddog2 doesn't seem bothered he took himself out the back for sniffs etc..
My two share a bowl. God knows why! We have more than 1 and they're all the same! But they only eat out of one bowl
That suggests it is behavioural rather than medical, which is in some ways a relief but in other ways possibly harder to solve.
Have you tried feeding him on his own? Maybe after DD2 has eaten theiir food?
I thought behavioural too now which is a relief but also not as behavioural may run so much deeper than a medical problem! I have recently went back to work after being furloughed, I was part time now I'm back a few full days a week so I'm wondering has that hit him?
I did try feeding him on his own but it's the same.. I'm going to pick up some wet food tonight after work and try that!
Just thought I'd come back and post an update, got some gravy based wet food and mixed it in with DD1s kibble, poor mite didn't even come up for air and has a totally clean bowl!!! 😂
Excellent! He must be a happy doggy with a full tummy! Just shows they have their own likes.
One thought... might be worth just checking his mouth to make sure it wasn't soreness that was stopping him eating crunchy dry.